OSEA Safety Blog

Women's History Month: Women in Construction

Thursday, March 21, 2024 Shana Watson

As we celebrate Women's History Month, it's essential to shine a light on the remarkable contributions of women in various industries. One such sector that has seen significant strides in gender diversity is the construction industry. Long perceived as male-dominated, women are increasingly making their mark in construction, challenging stereotypes, breaking barriers, and reshaping the landscape of the field.

Historically, women faced numerous obstacles in entering the construction sector, ranging from societal norms to workplace biases. Since 2014, more women have been joining the construction trades and starting their own construction businesses. In 2023, the U.S. construction industry employed over 10 million people, with around 1.5 million (14%) being women. As older workers retire and labor shortages persist, the number of women in construction is expected to rise further.

One of the most significant advancements for women in construction is the increasing representation in traditionally male-dominated roles such as engineers, architects, project managers, and tradespeople. Women are now actively involved in designing iconic structures, managing complex projects, and mastering technical skills once considered exclusive domains of men.

Additionally, women bring unique perspectives and qualities to the construction industry, enriching teams with their diverse experiences, problem-solving abilities, and collaborative approaches. Their presence adopts innovation and creativity, leading to more inclusive work environments and better outcomes for projects.

While progress has been made, women in construction still encounter challenges such as:

  • Pay gap: according to statistics, 43 % of companies do not monitor gender pay gaps.
  • Gender bias: 60% of gender discrimination cases at the workplace involve women.
  • Exclusion: 8 out of 10 women feel left out at company events
  • Lack of advancement: over 70% of females in the construction industry feel that being a woman reduces their chances of being considered for certain roles.
  • Shortage of role models: almost 50% of women in construction have never had a female manager.

However, through advocacy, mentorship programs, and initiatives promoting gender equality, the industry is gradually evolving to become more inclusive and welcoming to women.

In addition to breaking barriers within the industry, women in construction also play a vital role in inspiring future generations. By serving as role models and mentors, they empower young girls to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields and demonstrate that no profession is off-limits based on gender.

It's crucial to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of women in construction, not only during Women's History Month but year-round. Their contributions strengthen the industry, drive innovation, and pave the way for a more diverse and equitable future.

As we reflect on the past achievements and ongoing progress, let us continue to champion the inclusion and advancement of women in construction, ensuring that their voices are heard, their talents are recognized, and their aspirations are fulfilled. Together, we can build a more inclusive and resilient construction industry for generations to come.


Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. construction industry data


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